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Preps: Crusaders spoil Barons' idea of 5-0 Mesa League start Phillip Brents | Fri, May 03 2013 04:53 PM

The Mater Dei Catholic High School baseball team is notable for having two members of the 2009 Park View Little League world champions on its roster. They are pitcher Andy Rios and left fielder Nick Conlin.

The Crusaders also might steal some notoriety by playing the spoiler role in this spring’s Mesa League championship race.

Mater Dei Catholic pulled off a stunning 3-1 upset of league leading Bonita Vista  on Wednesday to bring the Barons down a notch in the league standings.

The win was just the fifth this season for the Crusaders against 17 losses and snapped a nine game BVHS winning streak.

“We definitely (relish) the role of being a spoiler but it’s still possible we could win the league title,” explained MDCHS coach Ed Johnson.

The Crusaders, who earlier handed Hilltop an 11-10 setback in the role of spoiler, improved their league record to 2-3.

Bonita Vista still leads the six-team circuit at 4-1 but is now closely followed by Eastlake, Otay Ranch and Hilltop all with 3-2 league records. Olympian is 0-5 in league play.

Mater Dei Catholic still has two-game series remaining on its schedule against Otay Ranch and Olympian, plus one game against Bonita Vista.

“This was a very big win for us,” Johnson underscored.

The Crusaders never trailed in Wednesday’s match-up. Isidro Velez dropped in single into short center and Rios followed with a run-scoring double deep to left-center field.

Rios nursed a 1-0 lead through six innings before his teammates could give him some additional support.

Spencer Vering dropped another liner into short center to start the visitors’ rally in the top of the seventh inning and Art Golembiewski and Eric Flores later brought runners in to boost the Crusaders to a 3-0 lead.

The Barons mounted a threat to chase Rios from the mound in the bottom half of the frame as a basehit by Austin Wilkes and walks to Jesus Perez and Andrew Lopez loaded the bases. Brandon Torio hit a fielder’s choice to bring in one run to make it a 3-1 contest but a game-ending double play ended matters.

Bonita Vista’s overall record dropped to 15-9.

The game proved one of missed opportunities for the Barons despite generating just two hits in the game.

Bonita Vista’s own Park View Blue Bomber, junior Seth Godfrey, went 0-2 in the game in two plate appearances.

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s win kept faint playoff hopes alive for the Crusaders.

“It looks like we might have to win out (the rest of our games) in order to make the playoffs,” Johnson said. “I’m looking at the division (realigned Division III) and I can see as many as 10 league champions getting in, and with 12 teams making the playoffs, that doesn’t leave a lot of room for other teams.”


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Barons sweep Crusaders to stay in first place in Mesa standings

The Bonita Vista High School baseball and softball teams scored a sweep of key match-ups last Friday to set in motion frenetic championship runs as regular season play rapidly comes to a close.

The Baron softball team defeated the Crusaders, 4-1, behind xxx to move to within one victory of officially clinching this year’s Mesa League title.

Meanwhile, the BVHS baseball team claimed an 11-0 win to make amends for a 3-1 setback two days earlier and maintain a one-game lead atop the league standings with four games left. Matthew Ball tossed a three-hitter while striking out 12 Crusaders to post his sixth win of the 2013 season against two losses.

Both Bonita teams play at Hilltop on Wednesday (3 p.m. starts) and host the Lancers on Friday.

Hilltop has already been eliminated from championship contention in softball but the Lancer baseball team, with a 4-2 league record, can jump into first place with a series sweep.

The Barons and Crusaders met two days earlier ranked first and fourth, respectively, in the San Diego Section. Host Bonita Vista won handily, 11-0, to maintain its hold on the section’s No. 1 ranking.

But Mater Dei Catholic, playing on its home field last Friday, managed to hold the mighty Barons in check after yielding an early 3-0 lead. Freshman Izzy Ortiz scattered six hits and struck out three batters to pick up her 14th victory this season against just one setback.

Aaliyah Jordan keyed the visitors with two runs batted in while Alex Vargas and Ashley Quidolit each recorded one RBI for the winners. Vargas, Quidolit, Hannah Flippen and Brittany Wyllie each scored one run in the game.

Quidolit leads the Barons with a .573 hitting average, followed by Flippen (.519), Vargas (.405) and Jordan (.403).

Bonita Vista enters the week 8-0 in league play, 18-4-1 overall. Mater Dei Catholic, which slipped to No. 10 in the section rankings, is 5-3 in league play, 20-6 overall.

Otay Ranch moved up to No. 9 in the section based on its 6-2 league and 19-8-1 overall record.

Hilltop is 0-8 in league play, 5-19 overall.

Sashel Palacios leads Otay Ranch, which topped visiting Eastlake last Friday by a score of 6-2, in hitting average (.575), RBI (45), doubles (16), triples (three) and home runs (three).

Niki Fernandez (.457 hitting average) and Carlee Wood (.417 hitting average) lead the Mustangs with 35 runs scored each. In the pitching circle, Josie Bachtell is 8-1 with a 2.83 earned-run average and 41 strikeouts in 76 innings pitched.

Andrew Lopez, Brandon Torio and Wyatt Miller each knocked in a pair of runs and Esteban Velasco, Jesus Perez and Austin Wilkes each collected one RBI. Perez, Torio and Miller each scored twice while Torio stroked a triple in the game. The Barons also recorded four stolen bases in as many attempts.

Bonita Vista raced out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, added a pair of runs in the third and blew the game open with six runs in the fifth inning.

Ball lowered his earned-run average to 0.71 and upped his strikeout count to 96 in 59 innings pitched this season.

Miller leads the team in both hitting average (.394) and RBI (14), while Velasco ranks second in hitting average (.384) and tops the team with 17 runs scored. Perez ranks second on the team with 10 RBI.

The Barons enter the week 5-1 in league play, 16-9 overall. Hilltop (18-9) and Otay Ranch (19-7) are both 4-2 in league play, followed by Eastlake (14-9) at 3-3 in league play. MDC dropped to 2-4 in league play, 5-18 overall; Olympian is 0-6 in league play, 8-17 overall.

Bonita Vista and Otay Ranch close out regular season play while Hilltop and Eastlake pair up in the teams’ final regular season series.

Games this week will set up the following week’s championship run for any of the four above-mentioned teams.

In statistics tabulated through a dozen games, Steve Sherwood topped Hilltop with a .468 hitting average, followed by Danny Goodrich (.438). Justin Sparby led the Lancers with 13 RBI and was 3-1 on the hill.

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